Mercato giants Saint-Germain and City in an exciting European meeting |


Lausanne (Switzerland) – The Champions League will witness a confrontation between the two giants of the last summer Mercato, and the richest clubs, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, in light of the tendency of the European Union to impose a luxury tax on clubs that violate the rules of financial fair play.

Saint-Germain and City had previously avoided exclusion from European competitions, especially after the two transfer deals of Brazilian Neymar and French Kylian Mbappe from Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017, and thanks to the appeal submitted by Manchester City to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020, he was satisfied with receiving a large fine.

However, the spread of the Corona epidemic and its huge financial effects, and its contribution to reducing European football revenues by about 8 billion euros during two seasons, prompted the European Union to ease its restrictions and tighten its financial fair play policy to spare clubs from bankruptcy. In light of the financial scarcity, there is no longer an obstacle to the entry of funds with the least possible restrictions, according to Raphael Poli, head of the International Observatory for Sports Research in Neuchâtel, who saw that “all the conversations converge on the idea of ​​​​spending the money you want.”

salary cap

Changing the rules of the game
Changing the rules of the game

Against the backdrop of this ongoing conflict, the European Union announced its quest for a comprehensive reform of the rules of fair play, through consultations that began last week and will continue in November, before making the final decision on the new financial model no later than mid-December. And if the details remain under negotiation, the outcome could be a foregone conclusion: The quasi-accounting balance imposed by fair play rules should be replaced by a ceiling on salaries according to each club’s income, around 70 percent. And to respect the current contracts – whose average duration exceeds two years – European teams will benefit from a minimum transition period, for example, to 80 percent, and then 75 percent of the income.

This mechanism, which is also being studied in the French League, is a reduced form of the salary ceiling, which uses a basic rule in American competitions in hockey, football or basketball, but it is very difficult to implement in European football, which includes 55 national federations, each of which has its own regulations and laws. .

In practice, such a rule would only slightly stop the wage “explosion”, and by representing 64% of club revenue in 2019, European football’s salaries are “much higher than any other industry”, the federation said. Europe last May.

The Champions League title is still a precious dream for Paris Saint-Germain led by Pochettino and Manchester City under the supervision of Guardiola, whose attempts have not succeeded so far.

For the nouveau riche in European football, the main requirement is not a limit or cap on salaries, but the disappearance of all sporting sanctions: exclusion from European competitions or a ban on signing new players. All that remains is the luxury tax, which has been announced several times by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin For every euro of spending exceeding the cap, the offending clubs will pay the equivalent to the continental federation, which will in turn distribute the money to the most committed clubs.

It is recognized that the European Union will devise a new mechanism for redistribution, and is unlikely to upset the financial balance, because the amounts will be modest for the benefiting clubs. On the sporting front, the new rule is not intended to improve the competitive balance, Ceferin warned, nor should it lead to titles being restricted to a few capable clubs. At a minimum, the salary cap according to income will “fix the hierarchy,” because only the richest will be able to sign the best players, Polley asserts.

The “luxury tax” changes the balance of power: clubs that are funded by businessmen will be able to invest without fear of immediate profit, while other European clubs will be constrained according to their revenues, such as Real Madrid or Barcelona, ​​or by their association Historical accounting balance, such as German clubs. And the Parisian team will try to avenge City, who ousted him from the last edition of the semi-finals, before losing the final match at the hands of his compatriot Chelsea. The match between the two runners-up in the last two editions of the tournament may witness a meeting between Messi and Guardiola, if the new Paris Saint-Germain player overcomes his injury.

If this is achieved, both of them will meet for the first time since Barcelona collided with Bayern Munich in 2015, and Barca won, led by his former Argentine star, and later crowned his last title in the tournament. Guardiola and Messi share a common desire, which is to win the two-eared cup outside Barcelona, ​​after they won the championship together twice. This is Messi’s first attempt to win the title with a shirt other than the Barca shirt, while Guardiola was on the verge of winning the last version, but he lost the final against Chelsea, and he did not succeed with Bayern Munich in achieving this goal.

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